Brown Shrike

Lanius cristatus




Shrikes (Laniidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pink or white with brown spots

Number of Eggs:

4 - 7

Incubation Days:

12 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

10 - 30 feet above ground in tree.

Nest Material:

Sticks lined with feathers and other fine material.





Brown Shrike: Small shrike with warm brown upperparts and buff underparts. Face is white with black mask; throat is white. Bill is short, heavy, and hooked. Tail is long and round-tipped with faint bars. Females have a pale brown mask and scalloped underparts. Juvenile has lightly scaled upperparts and barred underparts.

Range and Habitat

Brown Shrike: Asian species which casually occurs in Alaska in the western portions of the Aleutian archipelago, St. Lawrence Island, and near Anchorage; in fall and winter, individuals have been recorded in central California. Preferred habitats include lowlands, farmlands, and orchards with thickets and scrub.

Breeding and Nesting

Brown Shrike: Four to seven brown spotted, pink or white eggs are laid in a nest made of sticks lined with feathers, hair, and fine materials. Incubation ranges from 12 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Brown Shrike: Diet includes insects, reptiles, and small mammals. Forages by perching on a bush, fence post, or power line; prey is often taken to a larder and impaled on a thorn or wedged in a fork.


Brown Shrike: Call is a harsh "chack" and song is a trilling “jun-jun-jun," “kichi-kichi-kichi,” or “gey, gey, gey”. Males may imitate songs and calls of other birds.

Similar Species

Brown Shrike: Other North American shrikes are gray and white.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X